We're inadvertently walking into a world war. Our side will win it, but at a terrible cost for humanity.
We're evolving into a hybrid species, half human, half phone. Our minds today are already in-meshed with powerful data centers.
We're curing diseases by manipulating the very code that makes us human, potentially allowing our generation to live up to a healthy one hundred years of age.
And we're on the cusp of creating a new, eternal, digital, intelligent species.
Our grandparents, born in the middle of the 20th century, live in the weird sci-fi future of 2024, stunned by the wonders we can build, saddened by the consequences of our behavior in nature, and overwhelmed by all that they will never truly understand.
In the East, democracy is either a joke or a threat. Russia massacres Ukrainians, scared of what a free democracy in an ex-Soviet state could mean for its regent. China, meanwhile, laughs at the inefficient and corrupt Western countries, while it keeps building the spectacular infrastructure and massive cities where nobody lives.
In the West, we take for granted the gifts of our ancestors. The right to vote, the rule of law, self-determination, the freedoms of speech, of thought and of control of our own bodies. Capitalism, given its free nature, gets abused by the powerful, from any direction. Education, the only weapon that cannot be taken away from us, is becoming either more elitist or just ineffective.
Democracies and dictatorships clash. The arsenal of democracy is superior in every way. But in a world flooded with gasoline, it doesn't matter whose match is better.
Dictatorships dance between controlling their citizens and abusing the power of science and technology. They limit access to the digital crack that democracies can't seem to stop. All while relying on force to compensate for the lack of quality in the output of their diminishing demographic.
Democracies swing between political extremes, their attention damaged by instant gratification. We absorb realistic fake news, accept degraded institutions, and consume addictive digital drugs powered by delightful con artists or foreign dictatorships, manipulating our minds while they exploit our freedom of speech. Our own fascist wannabes, happy to sell off our civilization in exchange for a few years of unobstructed power before their own dementia consumes them.
You don't have the choice to give in or give up. You have to fight.
Your only weapons are your mind, your body and your people. Nothing else.
Your mind needs books, schools and mentors. Education, knowledge, ideas and perspectives. It needs friends who are better than you, that inspire you and make you want to push you harder.
Your mind also needs to fight the traps of this poisonous bullshit. A healthy mind knows how to escape the culture wars, the tribal fights over the stupid idea of a static identity and the normal mental diseases of human beings.
Your body needs exercise, good food and good sleep. It does. And so does your mind. The body is the mind.
And the people in your life are all you have. Your true friends, your close family, the people you choose to spend your time with. You are a human being of Planet Earth and you need others to be happy.
Choose the humans around you. Help them almost unconditionally. Lift them up. Listen to them with no need to reply. Mentor them with no expectation other than the satisfaction of seeing them happier. No human has ever built great things alone. But humans working together have always made incredible things.
Enjoy true art. Art is joy and pain expressed with raw honesty. Dictatorships hate art and have rarely mastered its disciplines. Good art requires freedom of speech. Never, ever, take that right for granted.
Understand that, in this world, evil exists. Violence and war should never be our goals, but they are sometimes necessary. Peace in our world doesn't come from diplomacy and good will alone. Peace is a result of deterrence. And for deterrence to be credible, nations must be capable of the violence required to stop evil.
Understand that, in this world, addictions can overwhelm us. From the sugar in our drinks to the likes in our phones. Addiction is a disease and it needs treatment, intervention and help. Willpower alone is often not the solution. And you're not weak to ask for help.
Humans are a species full of contradictions.
Humans need to explore. We've gone to space, and the bottom of the sea. In our minds, through math and physics, we've seen the edge of the universe and the inside of atoms. We've mastered our atmosphere and built massive cities to fulfill any and every need our animal bodies might have.
We're even at the point at which our math has synthesized our culture and can mimic a weighted average of our intelligence.
But we're also animals.
And, as animals, we need the green of nature. The smell of clean wind. The heat and brightness of our star. The embrace of other people. The flavor of who we love. The presence of other animals in our lives, with their sounds, smells and even taste.
We can't escape our genetic code. We want to learn, explore and be free.
Our need for freedom, in fact, is so powerful, that in history, it has also been the one thing we are willing to sacrifice our lives for.
We are the children of conquerors. Our ancestors triumphed over ice ages, global wars, famines, pandemics, toxic cities, and cults of death. Humanity has emerged victorious from every existential struggle it has faced.
Our new threat is the fight for the freedom of our minds against the yoke of dictatorships.
Dictatorships want us, imperfect humans, to be controlled. To have access to no addictive substances, other than they want to feed us for their benefit . To do what their totalitarian machine wants us to.
Democracies need us, imperfect humans, to choose. And they use the mechanisms of capital to negotiate our attention and tune our choices to the needs of those aspiring to govern and build the future of our civilization.
This year, 2024, half of humanity chooses in democratic elections if we want to keep the right to choose or embrace dictators and degraded rights. While, at the same time, established regimes throw literal bombs to aspiring young democracies.
That's the war we will fight in 2024.
Don't forget. Your weapons are your focused mind, the effort you invest in your body and your people. Nothing else.
Thank you Anibal, Christian, Claudio, Diana and Manuel for your help writing this.
¿Tienes comentarios? Dime en Twitter.